Agreed. I'd been saving a question about Argerich. Do people really go to
her recitals just to listen to the music?
The one time I saw her-- well, let me go back a day. It was 1985, I was in
London, CDs were fairly new products, I was writing for American Record Guide
and had hopes of branching out, and I had just done an interview with two of
the top guys at Chandos Records, at their offices in Islington. I had hoped
to "shop" the interview around, but didn't really find any takers, although I
still have the tape. I remember my interview subjects mentioned that John
Ogdon had returned to the recording studio, for a disc of Alwyn's music, and
I stopped the tape so I could discuss his illness with them off the record.
They had allowed me to buy a few of their upcoming CDs at the media price of
£5.-- per. As I recall, I had Mariss Jansons' Tchaikovsky 5th, Järvi's
Prokofiev 6th, and the Shostakovich Trio #2 and Piano Quintet with the
Borodin Trio and friends. (Years later, one of my former professors, Laszlo
Varga, would become the cellist in this ensemble, but that's another story.)
Islington didn't (maybe still doesn't?) connect directly with the London
Underground, but you could take the tube to the farthest London station and
change to British Rail. In order to get back to my lodgings, I did the
reverse, and so I found myself sitting in a nearly-empty car. There was a
very attractive young woman sitting a few rows down, and I took out one of
the CDs and playfully reflected some light at her, hoping she would see a
rainbow. It did, and she smiled at me.
Her name is Amanda Broome, and she was a voice student at RAM. That very
evening she was singing in a choral concert by the Holst Singers, conducted
by Hilary Davan Wetton, at St. John's, Smith Square. The program consisted
of BWV 230 (a cappella), the Stravinsky Mass, and Bruckner's Mass #2 (the
latter two accompanied by winds). I enjoyed the concert, and got to meet and
speak with Amanda's parents, who were delightful.
Before the concert, a little old man who looked very much like photographs of
Bruckner had walked up to me, and said that if I enjoyed the E Minor Mass to
be performed that evening, I might want to hear the Symphony #7 with Giuseppe
Sinopoli conducting the Philharmonia at Royal Festival Hall the next evening.
So I went to that concert, and found to my delight that Martha Argerich was
performing the Beethoven PC #2 before the interval. (In fact, she recorded
this one and #1 with that conductor and orchestra for DGG.) I was shocked
that she was so much shorter than I expected. And with her long dark hair,
she resembled a former girlfriend of mine back in Minneapolis (who ironically
is now married to one of my best friends there; I had dinner with them during
my Toronto vacation a few years ago).
So I enjoyed Argerich's playing, having gone to the concert without even
knowing she was performing, but instead due to a timely suggestion from a
http://www.impulse-music.co.uk/broome.htm (still VERY good-looking!)
Chung is an interesting example because the physical Chung doesn't get
thrown at you in the marketing, but when you see her in person her physical
presence is overwhelming.
I can vouch for that, but I also remember the music very fondly from one
such occasion. It's been more than thirty years now, and she *still* hasn't
recorded the Glazunov Concerto!
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
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